Here’s Part Three of our Candidate Super Series! We’ve compiled some expert tips for work-from-home parents to turn your remote work into a more practical, successful experience…
While working remotely may sound like magic to many, this isn’t the case for many parents. Sure, you get to ditch the commute, spend more time with your loved ones, and enjoy more time in your home.
On the other hand, as a remote-working parent, you experience some not-so-magic realities, from balancing work with looking after little ones to difficulty concentrating. And quite often, home-schooling your children, too.
The distinction between free time and work time becomes unclear when parents have to juggle childcare with work, with children vying for your time when you simply want – and need – to crack on.
On a particularly problematic remote-working day, you may feel like you’ve done nothing and you’ve been a terrible parent. It is possible to look after kids and work. However, it involves adjusting your working techniques and expectations.
We’ve compiled some expert tips for work-from-home parents to turn your remote work into a more practical, successful experience.
1. Be honest with your co-workers
When working remotely, disturbances happen, even when parents take every step to keep up their productivity.
Your children may throw a wobbler during a Skype call, hurtle into your home office, or demand your assistance when a home crisis strikes.
Don’t just pretend everything’s hunk dory. Let your employer know in the same way you would have done in the workplace, and that you need some assistance.
Be frank with your work about the reality of what remote working means for you. Consider what you need from your employer to make your life more productive and less stressful. Perhaps request more flexibility – or even a tiny bit more patience. Speaking to your employer about your concerns certainly won’t be a turn-off, but it would be if you mentioned this at the interview stage. Find out more about the biggest interview turn-offs to possible employers here!
2. Early bird gets the worm
One of the real perks of remote working is you don’t have to spend time travelling to and from the office. So, leave your kids to sleep in, so you take advantage of some extra peace in the morning – no chaotic mornings getting the kids dressed for school, no traffic jams, no travel to work. As such, you’ll end up finishing slightly earlier that evening, meaning more time to spend with your children.
3. Set boundaries
It’s vital to have your own space in which you can work easily and free of interruptions, just like you had in the office.
If your house is large, transform one of the rooms into a short-term office.
If this isn’t feasible, design your own space in the dining room, kitchen, or bedroom so it becomes your temporary office – where you can work without interruptions from your youngsters.
Explain to your children that ‘working from home’ means you’re ‘working’.
Set the boundary – they aren’t allowed to disturb you during your work from home day, then reward them, even if you ended up throwing in a couple of bribes at a certain point in the day.
4. Set up activities for your smaller kids
Plan some playful, peaceful activities for smaller kids to allow you to work without being continuously disturbed. Get them stuck into some painting, colouring, drawing, or DIY – they’ll need a little support, though.
You can create a school-type setting and divide your lounge into various play corners for your kids. Create a reading zone, DIY area, a space where they play with cars – but try not to provide everything on the same day or all at once. Instead, give them variety – otherwise, they’ll get bored.
5. Arrange Zoom calls sensibly
If your job involves numerous video calls with co-workers and external clients every day, be sure to organise them for the calmer times of your day, so you aren’t disturbed too much. Choose the early morning when the little ones are sleeping or when they’re watching cartoons on their tablet.
6. Plan your meals
You can save yourself tons of time by doing all your shopping a couple of times a week and making meals ahead of time in batches. In turn, this will give you more time in the evenings with your children.
7. Sustain a healthy work-life balance
Lastly, but most importantly, make sure you sustain a decent work-life balance. As soon as you’ve clocked off for the day, switch off your laptop and make the most of your evening – do something fun! How about a family games evening or movie night?
Wrapping it up
Remote working for parents isn’t without its challenges, but working from home is a vital step towards the UK cutting down the effects of COVID-19. Market Talent employs remote-working parents themselves, and even our CEO Ryan is a working parent.
Market Talent provides expert guidance on handling your teams remotely. Reach out to us for more information on remote working. Otherwise, if you’re seeking a new remote job in banking, be sure to give us a shout on +44(0)20 7971 7700 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.